National Geoscience Data Centre (NGDC)

BGS Data

The National Geoscience Data Centre (NGDC) collects and preserves geoscientific data and information, making them available for the long-term to a wide range of users and communities. The NGDC is recognised as the NERC Environmental Data Centre for geoscience data.

The NGDC is responsible for managing geoscientifically valuable information and datasets. The data it holds covers many geological disciplines dealing with the physical structure of the Earth and the processes that act on it, as measured from geological time to near-real-time sensor and data streams. It is the NGDC policy to preserve this data, which underpins the existing scientific record, and make it accessible for future re-use to a wide range of user communities.

It is the policy of NGDC to store data that is:

  • of high quality, scientifically significant and of potential research or commercial interest to scientists, academics or policymakers in the future
  • a geoscience data output from NERC/UKRI-funded earth science projects and programmes
  • digitally borne, enabling easy future re-use and access by a diverse range of end-user communities
  • preserved in the long term to maintain its accessibility and usability by taking appropriate digital-preservation actions throughout the data lifecycle
  • deposited by the owner or someone who has the rights to donate the data to NGDC (therefore granting NGDC a non-exclusive ‘in-perpetuity licence’ to hold and disseminate the data)
  • compliant with our data policy and data value checklist


It is also the statutory responsibility of the NGDC to receive data associated with:

  • boreholes drilled from the surface to a depth of more than 30 m for mineral exploration or extraction purposes (Mining Industry Act 1926)
  • boreholes drilled deeper than 15 m for water(Water Resources Act 1991 and Water (Scotland) Act 1980)
  • hydrocarbon well data (as per PON9/9b)


It is the policy of NGDC to ensure data is deposited with the following:

  • standards-compliant metadata that explains the dataset, makes it easy to discover and facilitates re-use
  • terms and conditions that clearly define how the data can be used in the future (NGDC prefer to hold data with no access or use restrictions — ‘open data’)


It is the policy of NGDC to:

  • store a copy of the data ‘as supplied’ in a data-holding store (in an agreed format)
  • incorporate (when funding permits) the data within our existing, nationally consistent datasets
  • provide data management advice and guidance to geoscientists working on earth science projects
  • ensure the data is discoverable and provide open access to any unrestricted data held in the data-holding store or the nationally consistent datasets
  • create on request digital object identifiers (DOIs), facilitating data citation, for appropriate digital datasets and display these alongside the data
  • encourage the use of these datasets for a full range of academic and commercial purposes, including future scientific projects and within information products or decision support systems
  • All those drilling boreholes covered by statute, or those wishing to donate information on a voluntary basis, must complete a notification of intent to construct new wells and boreholes and the subsequent provision of information form.
  • Guide to the Mining Industry Act 1926, which covers all boreholes drilled for minerals reaching a depth of more than 30 m. Please contact for more information.
  • Guide to the Water Resources Act 1991, which covers all drilling related to water over 15 m. Please contact for more information.

  • Information for funded NERC/UKRI-researchers — further information about depositing data with the NGDC for NERC/UKRI-funded researchers
  • NERC/UKRI data policy — NERC/UKRI has a well-established data policy that sets the ground rules that all those funded by NERC/UKRI must follow in managing the data that they collect.
  • The BGS has adopted a research data management policy to provide researchers with a structure to help them to manage their research data effectively and following good practice. This leads to resilient and robust data assets of long-term value to be deposited at the NGDC.
  • The NGDC has a digital preservation policy to ensure the long-term continuity of digital geoscience data in its care.
  • The Open Government Licence (OGL) is a simple set of terms and conditions that facilitates the re-use of a wide range of public sector information free of charge.

Access the NGDC

NGDC deposit data

Deposit data with NGDC

Guidelines for depositing data with NGDC.

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NGDC data search

Search deposited data

Discover data that has been ingested by the National Geoscience Data Centre (NGDC) and the National Geological Repository (NGR).

Search data

NGDC data management

We maintain a wealth of data, information and other materials gathered throughout the history of the organisation.

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NGDC cited data

How to get a digital object identifier (DOI) for a dataset for your dataset in the NGDC cited data catalogue.

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BGS iGeology app


OpenGeoscience is a free service where you can view maps, download data, scans, photos and other information.

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Need more information?

For general NGR and NGDC enquiries or to arrange a visit, please phone 0115 936 3143 or contact our enquiries team

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